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04/26/2009

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Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago and have been reading it over the past few days.

Guojun

I have read this blog for a while and would like to thank Prof. Becker and Posner for giving us this weekly insight from them. It seems that the recent track record of FRB is OK in that respect. For quite similar problem, former FRB Chairman Paul Volcker gave his answer, kept the interest rate high and squash the economy and maybe the presidency of Jimmy Carter. And Mr. Greenspan kept the interest rate and cost the presidency of Mr. Bush the senior.

Currently, maybe more worry falls on the other end of spectrum. It seems the premature hike of the interest rate prolonged or maybe worsened the 1930s great depression. And let us see what this time will be.

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More of a question than a comment:

While understanding that, typically, flooding the market with dollars tends to cause inflation, I wonder how that threat of inflation will manifest itself?

On the big purchase -- housing, say Fed actions increase interest rates: I'd predict new housing where pricing decreases are difficult if not impossible to achieve would continue to be slow.

Used housing would fall further in price as too few could afford to buy them were interest rates high. Both would mean capital is not in high demand tending to lower the rental price of capital.

Or? too many dollars chasing to few goods? We're at something south of 70% capacity with 10% unemployment with another 10% in make-work "jobs" that pay less than it costs to live the most basic existence. With........ a whole class of college and HS students ready to join the labor market in just a few weeks.

Many of today's products are virtually "extrusions" that are not too dependent on adding a lot of labor to increase output -- for example I suspect Dell or Apple could double output while hiring less than ten percent more people.

Are we expecting rapid price increases in such a market? Shortages? Of something?

Interestingly, I saw little concern with "inflation" as housing prices soared and the wages of the upper 20% and ONLY the upper 20% rose rapidly, or soared. Does THE "inflation" signal go off when lower income wages begin to rise?

Is the working bloke trying to purchase a home any worse off if housing falls 40% but interest rates rise a bit? or even a lot?

I really wonder when and how inflation is likely to take place. Good subject for another essay?

Luke

Do you have any thoughts on the recent push to audit the Federal Reserve, as proposed on HR 1207?

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Thanks, interesting post!

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